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Rising speculative demand helped push the California-Quebec Q3 auction settlement to a new all-time high while regulated entities took home their smallest share ever, as the quarterly sale bucked past trends to settle at a premium to the secondary market price, according to results published Wednesday.
Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Environment (MoE) ministries have signed off on separate interim plans for a carbon pricing mechanism, with the former’s proposal based around a voluntary baseline-and-crediting scheme as well as access to offsets generated home and abroad appearing to be the frontrunner.
Approvals for new coal power facilities in China fell 78.8% year-on-year in H1, an NGO report published on Wednesday found, but provincial governments continue to seek funding for new plants.
The municipal government in China’s northeastern city of Shenyang expects to launch trading in its local emissions trading scheme next month, but with compliance obligations from the beginning of 2020, it said Wednesday.
Trading house Hartree Partners and offset project developer ecosecurities announced a multi-decade initiative on Wednesday that will yield more than 300 million forestry and agriculture-based carbon credits in the cone of South America.
Reinsurance giant Swiss Re has agreed to pay $10 million to be supplied with carbon removals units over ten years from Swiss-based direct air capture (DAC) specialists Climeworks, the companies said on Wednesday.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the first transaction of verified emissions reductions (VERs) from a forest project on US state-owned lands on Wednesday, with an energy company agreeing to purchase all of the voluntary carbon offsets generated over the initial decade.
California distributed the largest number of compliance offsets this week since winter 2020, with forestry projects contributing to the bumper issuance, according to data from state regulator ARB published Wednesday.
The developer behind a California-registered offset project in Idaho is following in the footsteps of numerous other dairy digesters in seeking to transition the project to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), according to documents published by state regulator ARB.
Carbon prices slipped back from early gains above €57 on Wednesday, following a key court decision on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and as allowance supply was boosted by two auctions.
German exchange EEX will begin selling allowances on Oct. 5 under the country’s domestic emissions trading system for transport and buildings (nEHS), according to the Leipzig-based bourse.
Sweden has teamed up with carbon project certifier Gold Standard to support its work procuring international credits under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Comeback coal – GHG emissions from global electricity production are now higher than they were before the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting that countries are failing to take the opportunity to “build back better” from the economic downturn, according to a report from think-tank Ember. It found electricity demand and emissions are now 5% higher than they were in H1 2019. H1 emissions jumped 12% in 2021 compared with 2020, mainly due to increased Asian coal use, especially in China which took its share of global coal generation to 53, up from 50% prior to the pandemic. (Forbes)
BOGA off – Denmark and Costa Rica are trying to forge an alliance of countries willing to fix a date to phase out oil and gas production and to stop giving permits for new exploration, according to a draft of the rules for so-called the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, Reuters reported. The alliance is due to be launched at the COP26 summit in November. (Reuters)
Number one – Oil-rich Qatar’s has become the latest country to submit to the UN a revised Paris Agreement NDC, pledging to cut emissions 25% beneath BAU levels by 2030, using a baseline year of 2019 but offering no absolute figures for projected or targeted emissions levels. It is therefore unclear whether the pledge represents an improvement on the original version, which featured no outright mitigation targets, but rather only those as co-benefits to policies of economic diversification and adaptation. “Qatar is a low GHG emitting country” the revised NDC said, likely referring to the 0.3% of global CO2 emissions that the tiny country’s 99 Mt accounted for in 2016, the most recent year set out by Worldometer. Per person, however, Qatar is the standout world leader, with each citizen emitting an average of 37 tCO2 in 2016. For comparison, US citizens emitted 15.5 tonnes on average, the UK 5.5, China 7.4, and India 1.9.
Grimm reading – Economist Veronika Grimm, a member of the German Council of Economic Experts, which advises Berlin on economic matters, has criticised Germany’s climate policy and called for a market-based approach that builds on the already existing ETS. Grimm released a study showing Germany’s coal phase-out plan to be an economic and ecological disaster. She said that if Germany wants to achieve its climate goals, it must anchor CO2 pricing as a central control element across sectors to make environmentally harmful economic activity more expensive. Part of the plan calls for a sharp reduction in the number of EU ETS certificates and a significant price increase for CO2, with ETS auction revenue used to finance the expansion of renewables and the coal phase-out would then soon take care of itself. (WirtschaftsWoche, Clean Energy Wire)
Almost there – Democrats’ spending and tax plan and the bipartisan infrastructure package would together cut GHG emissions almost enough to meet the US pledge under the Paris Agreement, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. Schumer, in a new letter to Senate colleagues, said his office’s analysis of the two proposals shows they would put the US on track to cut emissions around 45% below 2005 levels by 2030. Add in planned executive policies and state-level efforts, and the US will reach its enhanced pledge in April under the Paris Agreement of a 50% cut by 2030. The letter lays bare the high stakes of the proposed $3.5 trillion, Democrats-only budget reconciliation plan, which accounts for most of the emissions cuts in Schumer’s analysis, and the bipartisan package. Meanwhile, House Democrats all voted to advance the budget resolution that will launch the reconciliation process following a fraught two days of bitter intraparty fighting. Speaker Nancy Pelosi reached an agreement with the party’s centrists who’d held up the framework, setting a hard Sep. 27 date for the House to vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill. (Axios, Politico)
RD or not – ExxonMobil is moving further into the renewable fuels space after its Canadian affiliate Imperial Oil advanced plans on Wednesday to build a 20,000-bpd renewable diesel (RD) complex on the site of its existing 200,000-bpd Strathcona refinery in Edmonton, Alberta. Contingent on the final investment decision, the new RD facility was expected online in 2024, and will use locally grown plant-based feedstock and hydrogen with CCS as part of the manufacturing process. The project will use blue hydrogen produced by natural gas with CCS, and is expected to capture 500,000 tCO2e annually. (S&P Global Platts)
Pretty (re)buff – White House and other administration officials told the US EPA that its industry-backed plan for tightening auto emissions limits was too lax, but the agency rebuffed those warnings and released the proposal with provisions that could lessen its bite. The discord was revealed in thousands of pages of correspondence, analysis and drafts newly released from an interagency review of the measure the EPA unveiled earlier this month and is set to finalise by the end of the year. White House and other US officials examining the EPA’s draft vehicle GHG standards released earlier this month encouraged an even stronger approach. And they warned the agency that actual emissions reductions could be undercut by provisions the EPA baked into its proposal, including double counting of electric vehicle sales and so-called flexibilities that give extra credit for technologies that make cars more fuel efficient but don’t necessarily show up in tailpipe readings. (Bloomberg)
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